Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Homespun Holidays Ebook Free with 2 Yr.TOS Subscription

Did you ever dream of getting a horse for Christmas? You can get a sneak peek of our Fall issue and see Nancy Carter's first horse! Oh, and she's not the only one sharing her childhood pictures. You'll see photos from the 50's through the 80's.

But, you'll need the Fall issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine to go on this walk down memory lane.

Plus, do you like to create holiday memories? The brand new TOS holiday E-Book can be yours, too. It's all about the fall and winter holidays - mainly Thanksgiving and Christmas. But it's not even for sale yet. This is your chance to get it first - for FREE ($12.45 value)!

Normally when a person subscribes, their subscription starts with the upcoming issue which can take a while. But, TOS thought about that when they planned their Fall Special.

If you subscribe now with their Fall Special, you'll get

Almost 50% off the cover price for 2 years The current Fall issue as soon as it is ready

6 Bonus gifts

12 months of Teacher's Toolbox, which contains a FREE E-Book every month PLUS, the new E-Book, Homespun Holidays for FREE!

This is over $250 worth of product for only $39!!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Help Me 2 Teach

If you are tired of doing searches and ending up with way too many pages of results to sift through, Help Me 2 Teach is an internet directory you may want to consider.
Elaine Taylor, a teacher for more than 40 years, developed this resource for parents, teachers, students and anyone else that may need to research educational content.
Her goal was to help you find more time for teaching, not wasting it searching through useless sites. The site is set up in an easy to use format with two different ways to perform a search. The first is a table of contents where you can just click on a topic and it will bring up the results.
The second is a standard search bar where you type in the topic you want to research. Both methods will bring up your results with color coded symbols to quickly help you determine if it is the right age range or if it is intended for a teacher/parent. The symbols are categorized for Primary, Elementary, Secondary, and Teacher. I found this a nice tool to quickly rule out any results I didn't need.
There are lots of different subjects you will find on this site and many hours of research have gone into finding them. Some of the free resources I found included printable worksheets, online games, maps, lesson plans, and activities. The one thing I found disappointing was that this was not an all encompassing search engine.
There were times where I did a search and no results were found. I then had to go to other search engines to find what I was looking for. Something worth mentioning though is the fact that Elaine is always updating this directory and very willing to add any sites or subject matter that you would like to see on there. In fact, while the TOS Crew was reviewing this, many people noticed there weren't any Christian sites and it was strictly secular. This is now changing as a result of this feedback. She has now added some sites on creation. This is a work in progress and it is constantly expanding.
With that said, I do see several benefits to using this service.
A big one is part of all homeschool families is time!
You don't have to sift through pages of results where a lot of them have nothing to do with what you are looking for. The results target the topic you are searching for. This is a great time saver when creating unit studies or finding information for lapbooks. Another added benefit is there are not a ton of ads all over the page.
The biggest advantage I see to using this service is the sites that appear in the results are safe.
On busy days, children can surf these sites and you can walk away for a few minutes and feel confident that inappropriate material is not going to pop up on the screen. Older children can even work independently.
A great way to use this directory is for teaching your children how to use the internet.
What a great way to let them research on their won and know they aren't going to accidentally open any inappropriate sites. The price of the subscription is worth it for that alone!

There are several options for a subscription:

3 day subscription for $4.95

1 month subscription for $9.95

3 months for $15. 95

12 months for $29.95

And until December 1st, she is running a special where you can purchase two years for the price of one!

Please use the Coupon Code: TOS

Contact Information:


Homeschooling ABC's e-class you'll want to take!

Terri Johnson has really outdone herself in Homeschooling ABCs! At http://www.homeschoolingabcs.com/ a new homeschooling parent/educator can receive a weekly lesson for only $10 per month for six months! This breaks down to $2.30 a lesson! Money well spent in my opinion.

As a veteran homeschooler, I found myself wishing this had been available when I started and was completely overwhelmed by all the information coming at me. Terri breaks down the process from the moment you consider homeschooling! Terri tells the importance of "detoxing" your children if they have been in any formal learning environments (public/private school) as this helps to accustom your child to the home learning environment. Organization, methods, curriculum, co-ops, teaching to different modalities, and more can be learned about in depth through this series of classes.

Terri also reminds you of the legal aspects of homeschooling and the importance of knowing what your state mandates and laws are concerning the homeschooler. She teaches the beginner how to homeschool on a budget before jumping into the heavy cost of formal curricula. How, you ask? Well you will have to take lessons from this experienced homeschooler to get the answer! She has advice on library building, books that should/could be read, websites to help you along the way, and even a list of recommended and popular curricula to help start your search.

She tells you in every lesson that what she gives you are not hard fast rules for the homeschooler. She teaches that every homeschool and homeschooler are different and it is okay to be that way! Terri gently will help your homeschool days be ones without much frustration and confusion.

There are 26 weeks of lessons. These lessons have just the right amount of information as not to overwhelm the teacher/parent. The lessons you will be learning will prove themselves to be priceless information! I found myself in the reviewing process thinking she may leave this or that out but time and again I was proven wrong. Just about everything you need to know about homeschooling can be found in these lessons. It makes sense that the teacher/parent should learn this information before taking on the task of educating a child.

This program is aimed at the Christian homeschooler but can be used and adapted by the secular homeschooler as well. New homeschoolers everywhere can glean and gain an abundance of knowledge from these quick and easy-to-learn lessons. If you know of someone who is considering or even planning on homeschooling, let them know about this wonderful program. Terri and Todd have a limited number of registrants so do not delay in signing up or telling a friend about Homeschooling ABCs.

Contact information:

Knowledge Quest, Inc.
P.O. Box 789
Boring, OR 97009
TEL: 210.745.0203
Toll Free: 877.697.8611
FAX: 210.568.9655

A November Giveaway Planned

I know there is a giveaway planned in November that will use this book. The Landmark Books are fantastic historical books that we use in school as readers. A whole new line is in development called Lists of Time. I have been using a method of list making with my son for quite some time and these books are the best to use with this. But you will want to watch for that giveaway. You will be the first to try out this line and tell us what you think! Look for this book. I believe I picked mine up at the bookstore.

Thanksgiving Books to Gather

Make sure you pick up these books for the Thanksgiving holiday. We are working on some new hands on reading comprehension tools that will use these books. As the days will be busy, reading a good quality book and have a reading tool that the kids like will make the days easier and take away any guilt you might have if the days feel rushed. The main stream curriculum can rest a few days. Time spent on the couch reading and looking at books is doing more for your child and their education than you may realize. When paired with a Pocket of Time, a Lines of Time, or any of our Little series, you engage the other parts of the mind also. The artistic, creative, reasoning and logical part are also stimulated and without the child's suffering, provide a little test and a little stretching of the mind. Perfect for busy holidays!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Great Give Away Site

I found this site with this fantastic giveaway offer. Seems like a lot of bloggers are feeling generous these days! I have seen this curriculum every year at conventions and I drool over it. It is made from Answer in Genesis- some of my heroes of the modern day! Please go sign up for this as it will be a treasure in your library. This is a curriculum, not just the story! Just click on this link and it will take you to the home page of the blogger to sign up.
Pass the word !

Friday, October 17, 2008


Starting today and lasting until after Oct. 31, we are having a contest in which we will have a weekly winner who gets to pick ANY....ANNNNYYYYYY pdf file wanted from our store. All you have to do is reply and make us laugh with the completion of this list:
Top 10 Day After Trick or Treat List
1. I AM__________
2. I SAW_________
3. I FELT_________
4. I THINK________
5. I REALIZED_______
6. I ATE____________
7. I NOW BELIEVE_______
8. I WILL NEVER________
9. I ALWAYS_____________
10. I NEVER KNEW_____________
Just reply to this comment and next week we will pick our first winner. We have over 100 products in our store. Get your wish list ready as we are feeling in the gift giving mood!! We also have all our holiday lines coming out, so you might want to have one of those early! (list of goods coming soon!)
Remember to think back to last years DAY AFTER.......all that candy. The mess, the zoned out kids, the glitter everywhere.......I am sure you said all of the above to yourself. Maybe you didn't even complete the thoughts. Maybe you just laid there on your bed staring at the ceiling....I saw....I felt....I never knew.......I now believe......I will never......
You can even let the kids try this out and pick their own reward at our store!

This is the first book in a fantastic series of books. It has it all: adventure, thrill, sarcasm, anticipation, good guys/bad guys...Jesse and I just finished reading it together. I was afraid it might be a little young for him, but it had just enough sarcasm and wittiness to make it fun and still engage him. All of the fairy tale creatures from all children's stories live in Ferry Port Landing, right here in the good old US of A. They are stuck there until the last Grimm family member dies. Which makes the life of Sabrina and Daphne Grimm very exciting and dangerous. In Ferry Port Landing, all of the creatures have had to adapt to mortal life and take on jobs. The Everafters, as they are called, might be passed over if one did not know what to look for. Snow White is now an elementary teacher. She is so good with little people, after all. Mayor Prince Charming loves his job but all of his ex's (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc) are in town so attending balls can be uncomfortable. This story has just enough quirkiness to make older readers enjoy it. Along with the books, Jesse and I used our GRAMMAR BY THE BOOK to complete our reading time. Jesse really did well and was able to pick out parts of speech and functions from an already written piece of work. This is a fantastic grammar product for kids who seem to disappear into LaLa Land (right next door to Ferry Port Landing, I might add) as soon as an English lesson begins. It made grammar very real to him, and less threatening as there seems to be a lack of creative writing skills in this child (and in all of my children now that I think of it!).
We had created a Lines of Time file just for this book and I am so glad we did. It's ON SALE for a limited time for $2.99 (Reg. $4.99)! Kids are going to love not only the book, but the fun way to show reading comprehension. This Lines of Time can be as basic as your child's needs and as artistic as they want it to be. Throw in some scrap booking tools and craft papers for blocking the cards and you have an art project also.
I have added the link to the SISTERS GRIMM web site. Check out the video clip also. Wonderful, wonderful story. Jesse went right to the shelf to pull off book 2.
I will begin making the Lines of Time for book 2. That will be ready next month. In the meantime, go to the library, the bookstore, or your online book source and order this book. Boys and girls alike will enjoy the story.

Special Discount Price: Regular Price $4.99





Thursday, October 9, 2008

He's Reading With Expression!!!

How do you know the brain is not struggling with trying to compute patterns and formulas when reading? When the brain is relaxed enough that you can read with expression! Monday was the first day I ever heard Jesse read with expression. I about fell on the floor. Smooth. Relaxed. Funny. When there was a question mark, his voice pattern had a question it it. He read sarcasm where it was suppose to be. He had fear in his voice when there was suppose to be fear!
Jesse is really thriving on the Stevenson Learning Method program. Once the information and patterns/codes to the English language get into the brain, it sticks there for recall. If anyone knows of a child struggling with reading, this is a wonderful and inexpensive program to use. We are in our second semester with this tool and I am seeing vast improvements in reading, writing, and spelling.
Check it out: Stevenson Learning Method


Why Do I Still Deal With Peer Pressure as a Grown Woman?

You read that right. Why in the world and I still dealing with peer pressure and the need to get approval over homeschooling? Here is how the start of the trouble builds and escalates:

1. Go to a gathering where friends and comrades gather. All different sorts of educational means are represented (public and private education, cyber school, unschool, homeschool, vocational/technical).
2. Someone asks how school went today.
3. I can not find any one way to express to all the various styles of learning exactly how it all went down.
4. I feel weird.

I don't like uncomfortable feelings. They make me uncomfortable. I want to say that I don't like to be made to have these feelings, but no one is making me feel this way but myself.
What I fight is the tendency to make our school and learning sound different than what it really is just so the questioner doesn't think we didn't do anything all day. In fact, when I would say we had an easy day today, the listener would reply with, "So you didn't have school today?" Uggg.

If you are a homeschooler of any time, I am sure you are getting a small vibe of what I am saying. To some, I feel the need to make our day of learning sound like it was HARD, and a STRUGGLE, and filled with TESTS, and lists of things to MEMORIZE. That we were at the uncomfortable kitchen chairs ALL day, suffering, in tight clothes and cluster headaches from dealing with the stress and anguish. A tension headache from repressing cries and moans. For some sick reason I have a moment I want to sound like learning was hard. I feel guilt that is was easy. And I say easy meaning we met our goal, and I used tools to fit that child's needs and design.
Sometimes we have candles burning, sometimes music playing. Sometimes we are in jammies with our favorite blankets sitting over the heat vent. Quite often we have snacks and a cup of tea on the table. We read interesting books about the historical subject we are learning about. We adapt everything we can to fit the child and his purpose, rather than force the mind into an area where design was not intended. And that makes learning easy.
If you have been reading my blog, you know I am not saying everyday is easy. You have read where I struggled and my kids struggled. The basis for that struggling was a.) my heart and its issues, or b.) the tools I was using was not what this child needed. Once I get either or both of those things settled, then the learning usually is easy.
The standard most of us are using for our children is not a superior education. Did you gasp? In reality, I admit there are people who can teach math and science better. English is up for grabs for a better teacher too. I like history, so I claim that one. I rock in Bible. If top education had been the goal, we would never win an argument FOR homeschooling. There are highly qualified teachers in specific areas with fantastic learning tools. But my goal was for highest character, a tightly woven family unit, strength and confidence in their purpose and serving their Creator. While we do have great benefits with quality education, even at my little table, it wasn't my intended purpose. I wasn't even wanting to settle for good sons. I wanted godly sons. Sons with valor, purpose, integrity and strength. I wanted present day knights who served their Lord with an allegiance reminiscent of the Middle Ages.
What I am baffled about is the constant struggle in my heart to feel shy about this advantage. Golly, I have sacrificed for this priviledge, I have earned the right to be bold. I need to feel less apologetic about having a great day in school, and having that great day consistently. I need to not feel apologetic that the way we have chosen is less painful and has greater benefits that the roads some of my friends have chosen.
There is a political issue this year about not being afraid to say America is the best country in the world. Seems hard for some to admit that. In the same aspect, we shouldn't be afraid or intimidated to say that homeschooling IS the best way to educate our children. We KNOW it is...and if you haven't been homeschooling long enough to see the results yet, I give testimony to the fact that this was the BEST decision we made as a family.
I still have to train my heart and mind to not fall into a zone where I am comparing our day with other families and learning options. The ratio of good to bad days will always favor good days in our home.
Suffering and struggle does not mean that learning has happened. It simply means there was suffering and struggling.
Today we will have a full day of school with all subjects taught. No one will cry or have a bad attitude. There will be somethings that are not as easy for each child, but suffering? We don't do that here. I have learned to admit I made a mistake with curriculum or that I was a bad teacher and instructor that day. I try not to waste time on time wasters, and there are LOTS of them out there disguised as school work.
I bet on Sunday someone is going to ask me how school went this week. I wonder if they are looking for a companion in suffering, or of they are wanting a shining beacon of hope. I think I may be able to say "Wonderful" and not feel bad about it.


Friday, October 3, 2008

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Fall Promotion- It's a good one!

I have been a subscriber to The Old Schoolhouse magazine in the past and have recently decided to subscribe again. This magazine is one of the best out there! I always find articles that hit home and give me great ideas! I save all of my past issues and any time I pick one up, there are MANY corners of pages turned down. If you have not subscribed to this magazine or did in the past and would like to again, now is the time. Their fall special is a great one!

You can get two years of the magazine, 6 fabulous physical
gifts (no downloads!) worth over $120, plus the current issue of The
Old Schoolhouse Magazine that is full of ideas for the new school
year, so you start receiving your magazine in a flash!

It really is one of their best deals ever and you don't want to miss
out. In fact, they've got a really cute Homeschooling with Heart tote
bag (valued at $13.95) for the first 1000 to subscribe. About half of
them are gone, but you should still be able to get one if you hurry!
(They will remove the info from the subscription page when the bags
are all gone.) The total value is over $212, but you receive it all
for only $39 - 50% off of cover price! Plus subscribers get their
online monthly Teacher's Toolbox which focuses on a different topic
each month, giving you words of encouragement, hands-on teaching
ideas, book recommendations, field trip ideas, and a bonus download

I personally love that tote bag and wouldn't want to miss out on it! You will be excited each time you get a new copy of The Old Schoolhouse magazine. It's a real treat! Just click here to get to it: http://www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com/US_Promotion.php.